More Bad Press for Klout

The backlash against San Francisco social media influence arbiter continues. Everything was hunky-dory by the Bay until the company dared to tighten up their previously rather liberal Twitter ranking algorithms.

TechCrunch blogger Alexia Tsotis‘ early riposte “Nobody Gives a Damn About Your Klout Score,” though not quite true, was nonetheless hilarious. As a fan of “smart but dumb” products, she suggested that Klout CEO Joe Fernandez was in line to become a 21st century version of P.T. Barnum. Over the weekend, there was more acerbic analysis, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph‘s Monty Munford:

“Measuring Influence since 2008” is the grandiose claim on the Klout website… When I read this I was minded of the Hollywood film LA Story when Steve Martin tries to woo a visiting English reporter by taking her around his city. ‘Some of these houses are almost 25 years old’ he enthuses, thinking that he’s impressing her…

Klout has also recently added LinkedIn, Foursquare and YouTube to its algorithm, undoubtedly in an effort to streamline its scoring system but creating more confusion about what makes up somebody’s online influence.

FishbowlLA likes the comment from Daily Telegraph reader Sam H., who argues that “Twitter accounts that use an avatar of a pretty girl-next-door, pouting, with a bit of cleavage on show, seem to have higher [Klout] scores than is actually accurate.” Per a principle that dates back to way before 2008.